silence: “… God is present, and His thought is alive and awake in the fullness and depth and breadth of all the silences of the world … (Jeremias 1:11)” ~ Thomas Merton
“… A man once asked Rumi, “Why is it you talk so much about silence?” His answer: “The radiant one inside me has never said a word.” …” ~ Coleman Barks
Indeed, as always, Rumi’s elegance “captures” the ineffable gift of silence … 🙂 … Coleman offers this exquisite example about the penetrating mystery of silence in his preamble to the chapter that’s about “Opening to Absence,” which is ultimately about silence: Coleman recommends a “move into silence” on a regular basis … to spend a few days immersed in the quiet with minimal or no “external input” : no TV, phones, talking or even reading, or checking email … that he underscores with:
“… Rumi says silence brings a chance to taste the core of our being …” …
So, today, as part of offering comparative insights from various traditions and teachers, we explore silence (very briefly) through Thomas Merton’s “lens” … with some of his quotes and a poem (The Flower of the Fruit – retitled as “In the Silence …”) …
Whether the planes pass by tonight or tomorrow, whether there be cars on the winding road or no cars, whether men speak in the field, whether there be a radio in the house or not, the tree brings forth her blossoms in silence.
Solitude is not found so much by looking outside the boundaries of your dwelling, as by staying within. Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.
In the Silence …
In the silence of flowers is found a sacred love
That changes the future.
Being is, for its own road, the end
If some grace grants it
Fragrance and quiet.
Sweet blood explodes upon the tongue
When you break
The body of the fruit:
This is the word, vivid and absolute
With which each tree tries out its virtue.
Man is mystic tree and barely grasps
Space and Time if he can turn himself
Into soul’s flower and veins’ fruit;
For, from his double essence, unconfused
The bees of death draw honey
And the roses of life their fragrance.
~ Thomas Merton
=== ==== ===
And, here’s a gentle reminder about compassion (one of the natural gifts of silence), that is the foundation for helping those in times of extreme need …
Go Fund Me continues to be a platform (amongst many others) for exercising – and deepening – our kindness and compassion. To this end, we have selected a few “pertinent to this time” campaigns that bring relief … for animals during natural disaster (like the llming IDA Hurricane) … for a family that lost the father – a marine in Afghanistan – while expecting a new baby … for small businesses … for restaurant workers – the world over …
We are all facing financial challenges but IF your situation allows you to donate and help then please do so …
Of course, there are many more worthy and noble efforts – the ones highlighted here are simply suggestions that may inspire you to donate to whatever effort you are drawn to …
Also, … here’s a GoFundMe blog post Fundraising for Coronavirus Relief: How You Can Help the Fight that offers a very comprehensive map for the COVID relief efforts including how you can help, what to give to, and lots more … We are supporting some of these campaigns personally and also as Stillness Speaks (through donations).
=== ==== ===
May you realize … the enduring gifts of silence … and …
May you be peaceful in your daily rhythm and interactions with others … and …
May you remain safe and healthy as you navigate these troubling times.